BMW has become the second manufacturer to announce it will leave Formula E at the end of the 2020-21 season, following Audi’s confirmation earlier this week. The German outfit made the announcement one day after completing pre-season testing ahead of the new season, where Maximilian Guenther topped the test for BMW Andretti on the final day in Valencia.
In a brief statement, BMW confirmed it will withdraw from the series at the end of the upcoming season having “essentially exhausted the opportunities” to develop its technologies within Formula E.
“Our journey in Formula E is hitting the home stretch. After seven successful years, BMW Group will end its involvement in the series at the end of the coming season,” a team statement read.
“As a partner from the word go, BMW has been instrumental in the success story of Formula E. However, when it comes to the development of e-drivetrains, BMW Group has essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E.
“As the strategic focus of BMW Group is shifting within the field of e-mobility, we will now concentrate on a model offensive and series production in large quantities with the fifth generation BMW E-drives.”
BMW has underlined its plan to provide a full factory effort for the entire 2020-2021 Formula E campaign before devoting resources to any new projects.
“Even though we are leaving, our sporting ambitions remain unbroken. In Season 7, the BMW I Andretti Motorsport Team will give its all to achieve as much sporting success as possible with the BMW iFE.21 and drivers Maximilian Guenther and Jake Dennis.”
BMW’s withdrawal comes two days after Audi also confirmed it will leave Formula E at the end of the season, as it prepares to switch focus with a new LMDh programme in addition to a 2022 Dakar Rally assault, while Volkswagen has announced it will withdraw all of its factory motorsport programmes as part of a “realignment” within the company.
BMW has also recently pulled out as a manufacturer effort in the DTM following the end of the Class 1 regulations at the end of the 2020 season.